Alexandra Jacobs
May 02, 1997 AT 04:00 AM EDT

We’ve all known a betty or two, and now, with this Preppy Handbook-esque primer (quizzes, puzzles), The Betty Book: A Celebration of a Capable Kind O’ Gal, in hand, she’s gonna be darn hard to escape. What is a betty? Why, someone whose idea of good fun is ”clean,” whose favorite food is ”for thought.” In essence — Clairol Herbal Essence, preferably — someone as can-do as floor wax, a Pollyanna with brand loyalty. Not a foxy lass, but an upbeat, hyperefficient gal (or guy; male betties include Tom Cruise). The author, Elizabeth ”Betty” Albright, is proud to include herself in this overplanners’ pantheon, which is probably why, with boundless enthusiasm, she’s kept up a delightful concept way past its bedtime. B

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